I was scrambling for something among the folders and files when the letter fell out. A remnant from another time.
There is something magical about letters. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia associated with them that we have grown to love over time, watching all those Hollywood classics. It felt like I was holding a piece of his mind, a tiny bottle of time. A reflection of something precious spread out faded ink, frozen at an earlier date. He wrote about how devastated he was, how sad, how lonely. The exchange seemed poignant and irrelevant at the same time, like re-watching a movie, and having it invoke a different feeling this time, because you know how it ends.
I do not remember what I wrote back. I clutch the letters that I have and read through some of the rest. These form half of a whole, a puzzle of sorts whose answers lie with another, destined to never unite with its counterpart that live in some obscure corner in another part of the world. I smile at the tragedy and absurdity of the idea and wonder about all the words lost in between.
It’s ironic how we live at an age when everything can be digitalised, uploaded on to drives and clouds and invisible boxes and immortalised, when every moment can be captured, every conversation recorded on text or video, and backed up into innumerable discs and across devices, and yet we find ourselves unable to retrieve any of them from the chasm of chaos that all this clutter inevitably devolves into. I constantly find myself wading through thousands of photographs and giving up, unable to place that one specific memory I would be looking for.
There are too many photographs. Too many videos. Too many long chats and texts. Too many back-ups. Too much clutter.
I wish I had more letters instead.